Crime Briefs | January 20, 2023 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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News - January 20, 2023

Crime Briefs

Police officer injured in shooting

An East Palo Alto police officer was injured in a shooting during a struggle with a suspect who fled from authorities during a traffic stop on Jan. 12. The officer's injury was not considered life-threatening.

At 11 p.m. that evening, the officer conducted a traffic stop on a Dodge Charger in the area of Fordham Street and Purdue Avenue for a vehicle code violation, according to a police press release.

Police said the driver fled from the stop, and officers chased the suspect on foot to the 2700 block of Fordham Street, where a struggle ensued and the suspect shot an officer.

The officer was able to help take the suspect into custody. No shots were fired by officers, according to police.

The injured officer, a five-year veteran of the East Palo Alto Police Department, suffered an injury to a lower extremity, police said.

The suspect, a 44-year-old man from East Palo Alto, was taken into custody.

Police said the firearm used to shoot the officer was a "ghost gun" converted to be fully automatic with a high-capacity magazine.

"We are grateful that our officer was not more seriously injured, and that the suspect and firearm are in custody," interm police Chief Jeff Liu said in a statement. "This is a stark reminder of the danger police officers face, and the ongoing dangers of gun violence. We must never forget the risk our police officers take every time they leave their families to serve our community."

The shooting comes as the department recently marked 17 years since Officer Richard May was shot and killed in the line of duty on Jan. 7, 2006. He's the namesake of a full-sized soccer field on Bay Road created in his memory.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call acting Cmdr. Angel Sanchez at 650-853-3154.

Man sentenced to life in prison for 2011 fatal shooting

A 31-year-old man convicted of first-degree murder for a fatal shooting in East Palo Alto in 2011 has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office announced.

Christian Fuentes, one of the suspects in the killing of 19-year-old Catherine Fisher on July 13, 2011, was found guilty by a jury in September and was sentenced Jan. 12 to the life sentence, prosecutors said.

Fisher was sitting in a parked vehicle with two other people on Annapolis Street when two suspects approached and opened fire. She was struck multiple times in the shooting, which investigators had said targeted one of the other people in the vehicle.

Authorities identified Fuentes, Jaime Cardenas and Fidel Silva as the two shooters and driver in the case and learned that the trio had fled after the shooting and went to Grand Junction, Colorado, where Fuentes committed another fatal shooting on July 16, 2011.

Fuentes then returned to the Bay Area and was arrested three days later, East Palo Alto police said. Cardenas and Silva remain at large.

Fuentes was convicted for the Colorado killing and was sentenced to 84 years in prison, then was extradited to San Mateo County to face charges in the killing of Fisher as well as the premeditated attempted murder of the other people in the vehicle, prosecutors said.

—Bay City News Service

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